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US v. The Durst Organization, Inc (S.D.N.Y.)


On November 13, 2015, the court entered a consent decree in United States v. The Durst Organization, Inc.; The Helena Associates, L.L.C.; and FXFOWLE Architects, P.C.  The complaint, filed on April 16, 2014, alleged that these defendants failed to design and construct The Helena, a residential apartment complex at 601 West 57th Street, New York, New York, with the features of accessible and adaptive design and construction required by the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.  This decree resolves the litigation with respect to the developers, The Durst Organization, Inc., and The Helena Associates, L.L.C. The decree provides for standard injunctive relief, retrofits of non-compliant features, and covers several additional properties subsequently determined by the United States to have been designed or constructed by the developers. The decree provides for a $250,000 settlement fund for payments to aggrieved persons and for a civil penalty of $55,000. The settlement fund may be increased up to $515,000 if the initial amount proves insufficient to compensate all aggrieved persons at the Helena and the additional properties. 

On February 29, 2016, the court entered a second consent decree in this case resolving the remaining claims against architect FXFOWLE Architects, P.C. In it, the architect specifically acknowledges providing design services for The Helena and that, as built, certain features did not satisfy HUD’s accessibility guidelines. The decree requires the architect to pay $35,000 to a fund to compensate aggrieved person, as well as a civil penalty of $30,000.

Case Open Date
Case Name
US v. The Durst Organization, Inc (S.D.N.Y.)
  • The Helena Associates
  • wheelchairs
  • 1:14-cv-02698-RA
  • accessible and adaptive design and construction
  • design and construct
  • braille.
  • FXFOWLE Architects
  • Fair Housing Act
  • FHA
  • Manhattan
  • multifamily dwellings
  • pattern or practice
  • roof terrace
Industry Code(s)
  • None
Updated August 2, 2023